I always try to attach a photograph to every post I write. This is the first one I saw on my desktop so I posted it, to get your attention.
That photograph was from Hawaii. And yes, it’s the same background as my ‘About me’ photograph. What a good eye you have! I’m actually painting this on canvas right now. In my opinion, I paint worse than I take pictures. But painting is very relaxing, and I sing to myself as I do it. And I sing worse than I paint. You can’t imagine how badly…
ANYWAY! This post is a rant. About photography in general. About the argument whether it is a real ‘art’ or just mere documentation of a time/place. Or both. About how people don’t respect your field. About being rejected from one photography agency but accepted by another. About a lack of support from your family and friends for what you do.
Photography is Art
To me, photography is art. I don’t care if you shoot stock photography, or artsy photography. Photographs are a representation of what the artist SEES. Everyone looks through a viewfinder differently. And I am constantly amazed at how people document what they see in the world. And it does take skill and craft to shoot a fine photo. You can’t tell me a blurry image of a person with part of their head cropped out, is the same as this:
How is a photograph good?
Of course, I just showed you photojournalist Steve McCurry’s famous National Geographic photo, which I’m not even that fond of, but you’ve probably seen it around, which is why I chose it. Why is it famous? Why do so many people love this image? Steve McCurry has this gift of seeing a a person’s soul through their eyes. The eyes of each person he shoots has depth, mystery, a story. They’re all saying something.
Lack of respect for the dumb Art Major
When I was in college as an Art major, my friends joked that I had it easy in school, because all I did was ‘doodle pictures in class all day’ or ‘click a button on my camera’ for homework assignments. I didn’t pick a major in Fine Arts because it was easy, or because it was a cop-out. I wasn’t so ‘stupid’ that I could only get accepted to college as an artist, either. I had a really good GPA. I had decent SAT scores. I could’ve majored in Computer Science, the major that EVERY ASIAN LIKE MYSELF TAKES! And I could’ve made a lot more money that way. Part of my brain loves repetitiveness and figuring out solutions to problems, which is great for Comp. Sci. But the majority of my brain loves seeing things differently. Wondering, what if I choose to do it this way, or that way.
Not only do non-art majors mock art majors, but ART MAJORS MOCK OTHER ART MAJORS! Painters would call Graphic Artists sell-outs. Fine Art Photographers call Stock Photographers sell-outs. What you choose to do with your artistic ability is your own damn business. We’re all the same! Stop hating.
Just the other day, I heard of a racist comment about Cantonese people, from someone Mandarin. I know this is sort of a different subject, but in a way it isn’t. Cantonese, Mandarin, we’re all friggin Chinese! I’ve only heard about this kind of racism in the past few years. It’s so unbelievably stupid that people of the same race have racist feelings towards each other. The same goes for artists of different art fields.
Another subject I’d like to talk about is Stock Photography agencies. To all the people submitting their photographs to these agencies – just because the photos are rejected DOES NOT MAKE THEM BAD. A stock photograph is a very…graphic way of depicting things. They want plain vanilla shots. No artsy, creative phtographs need apply. You might be convinced that your photograph is fantastic, but it might get rejected time and time again, for completely different reasons at different agencies. It might be a computer algorithm determining what gets rejected, or it could be a person, and all are completely subjective.
I’ve had food photographs rejected from Foodgawker.com, that were accepted at microstock agencies. Go figure! Maybe the Reviewer got up from the wrong side of the bed. Maybe the computer algorithm didn’t have its morning cup of coffee.
I’ve gotten rejected numerous times at different Microstock agencies, before one finally accepted me. You can joke that the one who accepted me probably had lower standards, or it was a fluke, or that someone had pity on me. But I KNEW that my photos were good enough. Someone had to appreciate them one day. The first time I got rejected, I cried. The second time, I cried even harder. The third time, I laughed it off. The forth time, I got accepted, then cried again, out of happiness.
3 rules about Stock Agencies:
- A photograph rejected from one agency can get accepted at another. As I said, it’s all subjective to some degree. Don’t give up.
- Just because a photo gets rejected does not mean it is bad. It could be deemed too artistic according to the specific reviewer’s tastes. You are probably still awesome.
- I forgot my 3rd rule. But you are still awesome!!!
Are your family/friends supportive of your work/hobbies?
I don’t get a lot of support for what I do. Sure, I get lots of support for doing this blog, which is surprising. But when I wanted to shoot photography for a living…*sound of crickets*. The photography field isn’t repsected as much as a ‘real’ field. Or at least, that’s how most people think. At least the ones I know. I wake up every morning forcing myself to think positive. I have to be my own support group. It is really, really difficult. You start doubting yourself, thinking maybe the reason people aren’t supportive is because you really suck. But I don’t think so anymore. I think it’s because people don’t think it’s a real job.
So believe in yourself. In the end, it’s all up to you anyway.
Leave some of your rants on this post. Or e-mail me your rants. I’ll support you!!
…I will post something food related later today, I promise. For all the foodies.